FEMA Bulletin Week of April 2, 2018

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April 2, 2018

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines 

April 9

2018 National Preparedness Symposium Application Deadline

April 27

Staffing for Adequate and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants Application Period

April 30

Property Acquisition Open Space Collection Open Comment Period Deadline

FEMA Invites Whole Community to Participate in Historic National Level Exercise

FEMA announced that the agency is conducting the 2018 National Level Exercise for the whole community, inviting government agencies, private sector and non-profit organizations, and individuals to participate in the biennial exercise. The exercise, taking place April 30 – May 11, 2018, represents a key step towards implementing FEMA’s recently released 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.


The 2018 National Level Exercise tests federal, state, and local governments’ ability to respond to catastrophic incidents; Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and the District of Columbia will join departments and agencies across the federal government for this exercise. The exercise is based on a mid-Atlantic hurricane scenario, where a major hurricane makes landfall near Hampton Roads, Virginia, causing severe damage to homes and businesses. The scenario will include power outages and cascading effects to critical infrastructure systems, including impacts to communications, transportation, water, wastewater and hospitals.

The 2018 Exercise will test lessons learned from the unprecedented 2017 Hurricane Season. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria tested local, tribal, territorial, state and federal disaster readiness like no season has before, and incorporating those lessons into this exercise will help enhance disaster readiness, both for the agency, and the nation.

It’s important that individuals and families living in an area potentially vulnerable to hurricanes understand their risk, develop a preparedness plan, and take action. This exercise provides an opportunity for individuals to join with FEMA and prepare for the 2018 hurricane season.

This exercise also represents ongoing engagement with the private sector and infrastructure to test our coordination through all levels of government in exercise play, from engagement with the National Business Emergency Operations Center (NBEOC), to the regional level with FEMA Region III’s Regional Business Emergency Operations Center (RBEOC), and the state level with our state partners’ State Business Emergency Operations Centers. The private sector plays an invaluable role in helping communities respond to and recover from disasters, and this exercise empowers FEMA to work closely with those organizations and strengthen our partnerships for future events.

The 2018 National Level Exercise is the first exercise of its kind following the release of FEMA’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. The exercise supports the three goals of the Strategic Plan: build a culture of preparedness, increase readiness for potential catastrophic events, and reduce the complexity of FEMA.


By congressional mandate, the National Level Exercise represents the culmination of the two-year National Exercise Program cycle, and is designed to educate and prepare participants for potential catastrophic events.

For more information, visit www.fema.gov/nle.

April Is National Financial Capability Month

Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or emergency. In these stressful circumstances, having access to financial, insurance, medical, and other records is crucial for starting the process of recovery quickly and efficiently. Emergency savings can also help individuals and families quickly start on the road to recovery.

Because financial wellness is so critical to building a culture of preparedness, FEMA, in partnership with the U.S. Treasury and the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC), will work throughout April to help individuals and families prepare for the financial cost of unexpected emergencies.

Throughout the month, Financial Literacy and Education Commission members will encourage financial preparedness in three key areas: Planning, Savings, Insurance. Use #FinancialFuture2018 on social media to join in and learn more.

Please consider joining the following:

- April 11: 1 p.m. ET: National Financial Capability Month Twitter Chat #FinancialChat with @Prepareathon. Learn and share ways to prepare for your financial future.

- April 18: 3 p.m. ET: Facebook Live - Improving Your Financial Future

Find out more by following #FinancialFuture2018, and visiting www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness and www.usa.gov/flec.

Save money and be prepared for an emergency

FEMA Announces its Intent to Transfer National Flood Insurance Program Risk to the Capital Markets

This year, FEMA is continuing its practice of strengthening the financial framework of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by transferring risk to the private sector. In early January 2018, FEMA secured $1.46 billion in reinsurance from 28 reinsurance companies to cover any qualifying flood losses in excess of $4 billion per event occurring in calendar year 2018. FEMA plans to transfer additional risk by engaging the capital markets for the first time through an insurance-linked securities (ILS) transaction on or about July 1, 2018.

Adding this new “building block” will enable FEMA to transfer risk through two avenues – the traditional reinsurance markets and the capital markets. Engaging both markets will create more competition and reduce the NFIP’s risk transfer costs. It will also enable FEMA to access greater market capacity and spread its risk across a more diverse pool of companies and investors.

FEMA recently published a public notice of its intent to pursue the mid-year ILS transaction. The official notice can be found at www.fema.gov/nfip-reinsurance-program. It advises potential reinsurer partners to contact FEMA (via email addresses provided in the notice) by April 6, 2018, to indicate interest in participating and receive additional information.

FEMA and Emergency Management Partner Organizations Release PrepTalk on Lessons from Survivors

FEMA, in partnership with organizations that collectively represent the emergency management profession, released today the eighth video presentation from the inaugural PrepTalks Symposium, Amanda Ripley’s “The Unthinkable: Lessons from Survivors.”

In her PrepTalk, Ripley combines the inspiring stories of disaster survivors with research into how the brain works when confronted with unusual events. Ripley provides advice on steps emergency managers can take now to help individuals be more decisive in emergencies.

Ripley is a journalist and senior fellow at the Emerson Collective. She writes about disasters, education, and human behavior. Her bestselling book, “The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why,” has been published in 15 countries and, a documentary based on the book aired on the Public Broadcasting System in 2012.

Ripley’s presentation, the question-and-answer session that followed, a discussion guide, and additional reference materials are available at https://www.fema.gov/preptalks. This is the final video of eight produced from the PrepTalks Symposium held in Washington, D.C. in January 2018. The next PrepTalks Symposium is scheduled for fall of 2018.

PrepTalks are a partnership between FEMA, the International Association of Emergency Managers, the National Emergency Management Association, the National Homeland Security Consortium, and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Center for Domestic Preparedness Tribal Nations Training Week

The Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) hosted its annual Tribal Nations Training Week on March 19-23 at its campus in Anniston, Alabama. More than 157 tribal students represented 54 different tribal agencies, spanning 21 states participated in the annual event. They were enrolled in nine CDP training courses and five partner training courses that focused on enhancing their and their communities’ emergency response capabilities. 

The week included training in a wide range of emergency response subjects, from biological incident awareness and medical emergency response to incident command, culminating with an integrated capstone event where the students exercised an interdisciplinary response to a mass casualty incident.

The week also included a number of evening lectures, including one which explained the numbers and types of voluntary organizations that are typically active in a disaster, and one specifically on FEMA Grants. It also included presentations by a number of CDP training partners, including the Emergency Management Institute, National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center, Nevada Test Site’s Counter Terrorism Operations Support Program, Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium, Transportation Technology Center, Inc./Security and Emergency Response Training Center, and the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at the University of Hawaii. Representatives from FEMA Tribal Affairs and tribal liaisons from FEMA Regions IV and IX were on hand throughout the five-day event, which was the third Tribal Nations Training Week hosted by the center.

The CDP is forming a working group that it will chair and which will include its training partners, to plan and execute the 4th annual Tribal Nations Training Week. The CDP will also schedule a focus group in the coming weeks with participants of this event to start framing the next Tribal Nations Training Week.

Thus far in Fiscal Year 2018, the CDP has hosted 235 tribal nations students in resident training for a total of 391 course completions.

The Tribal Nations Training week capstone event, where students exercised an interdisciplinary response to a mass casualty incident.

FEMA Announces Changes to the National Flood Insurance Program

As previously announced on September 29, 2017, key changes being made to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on April 1, 2018 include updated insurance policy premium increases conforming to the premium rate caps established by Congress.

Premiums increased from an estimated average of $866 per policy to $935, for an average increase of 8.0 percent. Premiums did not include the HFIAA surcharge or the Federal Policy Fee (FPF). When the HFIAA surcharge and FPF were included, the average total amount billed to the policyholder increased from $994 to $1,062, for an average increase of 6.9 percent.

Additional changes for April 1 were minimal increases to Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) premiums. FEMA is now allowing a policyholder and a policyholder’s spouse to benefit from the lower HFIAA surcharge when they each reside in a separate primary residence more than 50 percent of the year.

This week, FEMA announced program changes that will take effect on October 1, 2018 and impact individual policyholders as their policies renew. These include:

- Allowing policyholders who purchase a private flood insurance policy to cancel their duplicate NFIP policy

- Requiring NFIP insurers to notify certain policyholders of a lower-cost premium option

- Extending the eligibility for the Newly Mapped procedure rating option

For more technical information regarding these rate increases and program changes, please visit: https://nfip-iservice.com/nfip_docs.html.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

2018 National Preparedness Symposium Promoting Whole Community Preparedness Through Unity of Effort

FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) will host the 2018 National Preparedness Symposium from May 21-24 at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The symposium provides federal, state, tribal, territorial, and nongovernmental training and exercise officials the opportunity to discuss current and future training and exercise programs and to share case studies, lessons-learned, and smart practices. The theme is “promoting whole community preparedness through unity of effort,” with a focus on promoting a culture of preparedness in America.

Applications for registration must be received by April 9, 2018.  To apply and for more information, visit https://training.fema.gov/nationalpreparednesssymposium/ or contact the EMI National Training Liaison Dan Lubman at daniel.lubman@fema.dhs.gov.

Staffing for Adequate and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants Application Period

The application period for the Fiscal Year 2017 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants is open, with $345 million in funding available to enhance the ability of recipients to attain and maintain 24-hour fire department staffing and to assure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. Applications are being accepted through 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 27, 2018.


Volunteer, career, and combination fire departments are eligible to apply under the Hiring of Firefighters. Municipalities and fire districts may submit applications on behalf of fire departments when the fire department lacks the legal status to do so, e.g., when the fire department falls within the auspices of the municipality or district. Eligibility for Recruitment and Retention of Firefighters funding is limited to volunteer and combination fire departments. National, state, local, or tribal organizations representing the interests of volunteer firefighters and individual fire departments (volunteer or combination) may apply for assistance for regional projects.

Property Acquisition Open Space Collection Comment Period

FEMA recently listed a Federal Register Notice for public comments about information collection. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice seeks comments concerning the process of property acquisition and relocation for open space as part of FEMA's mitigation grant programs, monitoring requirements after a receiving a grant, and a direct grant to property owners for acquisition and demolition of severe repetitive loss structures. Comments may be submitted through the Federal Register at www.federalregister.gov/d/2018-03949 until April 30, 2018.